Bellator recently announced a number of the bouts for the upcoming Bellator 223 and Bellator 224 occasions. Here are the new fights, Together with my thoughts on the new matchups under:
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rafael Lovato Jr., Bellator 223
Bellator 223 takes place June 22 in SSE Arena in London, England, and the main event sees Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi carrying on Rafael Lovato Jr.. Read my thoughts on this struggle in a previous edition of the MMA odds and endings.
Paul Daley vs. Erick Silva, Bellator 223
An intriguing welterweight bout between Paul Daley and Erick Silva was inserted to Bellator 223. Daley (40-17-2) is 5-4 in Bellator and is coming off of a close decision loss to Michael Page with a decision loss to Jon Fitch before that. He has not won as a KO win over Lorenz Larkin in September 2017. Silva (20-10, 1 NC) is 0-1 in Bellator, having lost by decision to Yaroslav Amosov within his promotional debut. His last win came in July 2018 over Nick Barnes in LFA. Although Silva has a puncher’s chance, he is a shell of his former self, and even though Daley struggling to win his last couple of fights, he must be chosen to win this bout.
James Gallagher vs. Jeremiah Labiano, Bellator 223
Featherweights James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano will struggle Bellator 223. Gallagher (8-1) has a 5-1 record in Bellator and rebounded nicely from his furious KO loss to Ricky Bandejas with a submission win over Stephen Graham his last time out. Labiano (12-6) is 2-2 overall in Bellator and is coming off of a TKO win over Justin Smitley. Even though Gallagher is overrated, he must nevertheless be preferred to win this fight.
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kent Kauppinen, Bellator 223
Middleweights Melvin Manhoef and Kent Kauppinen also fulfill at Bellator 223. Manhoef (30-14-1, two NC) is 42-years-old now and is coming off of successive losses to former champ Rafael Carvalho. His last win was a knockout victory over Hisaki Kato back in 2015, and overall he has a 2-3, 1 NC album in Bellator. Kauppinen (11-4) is just 1-1 in Bellator but he’s coming off of a KO win over Alessio Sakara that was a breakthrough performance for him. Despite Manhoef’s advantage in experience, you must favor the younger and more durable fighter in Kauppinen.
Julia Budd vs. Olga Rubin, Bellator 224
And finally, Bellator 224 takes place July 12 in WinStar Resort Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma and the primary event features Bellator women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd contrary to Olga Rubin. Budd (12-2) has a perfect 6-0 record in Bellator and has not lost since a submission defeat to Ronda Rousey way back in 2011. She’ll be coming into this fight off of a one-year layoff as she hasn’t competed since a TKO win over Talita Nogueira past July, however, Budd remains one of the most formidable women’s featherweights in the world regardless of any layoff. Rubin (6-0) is currently 4-0 in Bellator, although her level of competition has been sub-par, to say the very least. However, she received this title shot because of her perfect album and since there’s no one else worthy of fighting Budd, that will undoubtedly be a huge favorite to win the fight.
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